“I look upon every day to be lost in which I do not make a new acquaintance.” –Samuel Johnson
Somewhere between friend and stranger are those people we call acquaintances. They might be friends of friends, or people who provide us a regular service (the postal carrier, the grocery clerk, the people at the dry cleaners), or even certain neighbors. We don’t have a strong disliking or liking for them. We know of these people. We just don’t KNOW them. Our relationship with them is “neutral.”
This week’s exercise is to choose one of your acquaintances and perform an act of kindness for her/him. We do this exercise as an acknowledgement of all the acquaintances we have, to recognize that they exist. In performing this act, we recognize that fundamentally our acquaintances want and deserve the same things we do, to be happy, to have good health, to be appreciated. In celebrating one acquaintance, we celebrate all of our acquaintances. In celebrating all of our acquaintances, we celebrate everyone.
It is very important that you consider your act mindfully, but it is NOT necessary that you get to know your chosen person well enough to personalize your act. Choose something that acknowledges your common humanity. If you prefer, perform your act anonymously. Your acquaintance need not know you are the one who completed the act. Do something that resonates from a warm place inside you, perhaps doing something for your acquaintance that you would like being done for you should the roles be reversed.